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Assessing the performance of auctions for the allocation of conservation contracts: Theoretical and computational approaches

  • Hailu, Atakelty
  • Schilizzi, Steven
  • Thoyer, Sophie

There is a growing interest in using auctions for purchasing public goods from private agents. Auctions are being trialed in Australia and elsewhere to allocate conservation contracts. The expectation is that competitive bidding will reduce information rents and increase cost-effectiveness. This paper examines how auctions would perform under different assumptions regarding the rationality of bidders. A theoretical model requires bidders to be rational and use Nash equilibrium strategies, while an agent-based model assumes boundedly rational bidders learning from experience. The study illustrates the synergies between economic theory and agent-based modelling. Our findings provide a cautionary message regarding the performance of conservation auctions.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19478
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19478.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19478
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  1. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
  2. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  3. Shlomit Hon-Snir & Dov Monderer & Aner Sela, 1996. "A Learning Approach to Auctions," Game Theory and Information 9610004, EconWPA, revised 07 Oct 1996.
  4. James Nicolaisen & Valentin Petrov & Leigh Tesfatsion, 2000. "Market Power and Efficiency in a Computational Electricity Market with Discriminatory Double-Auction Pricing," Computational Economics 0004005, EconWPA.
  5. Jordan J. S., 1995. "Bayesian Learning in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 8-20, April.
  6. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1984. " Theory and Behavior of Multiple Unit Discriminative Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 983-1010, September.
  7. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
  8. John Ledyard & Jasmina Arifovic, 2003. "Computer Testbeds: The Dynamics of Groves-Ledyard Mechanisms," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 244, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. A. Roth & I. Er’ev, 2010. "Learning in Extensive Form Games: Experimental Data and Simple Dynamic Models in the Intermediate Run," Levine's Working Paper Archive 387, David K. Levine.
  10. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1991. "Adaptive and sophisticated learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-100, February.
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